Kingston Police warn of email scam with hidden links

Photo by Brett Jordan.

Kingston Police are alerting the public to a new scam in which cybercriminals use a redirected link which presents as an IP address when hovered over. Using an IP address instead of a website URL allows the scammers to hide the real location of a website.

“In this scam, cybercriminals send an urgent email that appears to come from a legitimate source and prompts you to click on a link,” Kingston Police said. “The link seems legitimate, but hovering over it shows an IP address instead of a URL. Without a URL, it’s nearly impossible to verify if the link is legitimate. If you open the link in your browser, cybercriminals can download malware onto your device or redirect you to a malicious website.”

In a media release dated Monday, Jun. 14, 2023, Kingston Police provided the following the tips to stay safe from similar scams:

  • When you receive an email, stop and look for red flags. For example, watch out for emails with different reply-to and sender addresses.
  • Before you click a link, hover your cursor over it. If it shows an IP address, it could be a phishing link.
  • Be cautious of urgent requests. Cyberattacks are designed to catch you off guard and trigger you to click links impulsively.

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